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Hospice Staff Overwhelmingly Support Use of Medical Marijuana In Hospice Setting

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Even though a majority of states have moved to legalize medical cannabis, cannabis remains illegal at the federal level. Most hospice programs are funded by federal dollars and hence it may be difficult for hospice patients to access medical cannabis even where the state laws allow. In 2019, a group of researchers conducted a survey to assess the knowledge and attitudes of hospice staff towards medical cannabis use in a hospice setting. The results revealed an overwhelming support for medical cannabis by hospice staff. 

The researchers conducted an anonymous survey to assess a variety of factors including the experiences and opinions of hospice staff regarding medical cannabis. The survey was disseminated to hospice employees through the national hospice and palliative medicine professional organization. A total of 310 hospice professionals completed the survey. More than half of the respondents were hospice nurses while the rest were administrators and physicians. 

After analysis the researchers concluded that hospice staff overwhelmingly agree that medical cannabis is useful in a hospice care setting. The researchers also noted a wide discrepancy in medical cannabis education and documentation practices across the states. Several barriers to access were also identified; conflict between state and federal laws, concerns regarding clinical efficacy and safety, as well as other societal factors. Based on these findings, there's a need to support hospice care patients and providers by developing and implementing policies that will improve access t o medical cannabis.

 

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